Keystone XL was cancelled-what about now?


It is not surprising that TC Energy announced the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project plagued by problems.

The Calgary-based company seems unlikely to get rid of the decision of US President Joe Biden to revoke its cross-border license in January last year.

After evaluating its options, TC Energy appeared to have reached the same conclusion on Wednesday.

But this week’s decision to suspend production did not solve several key issues that have been hanging over the project-not only Keystone XL, but also the Alberta government, environmental organizations and other pipeline projects.

Can Alberta get some money back?

Last year, Alberta invested US$1.5 billion and loan guarantees in Keystone XL to help launch a project plagued by legal disputes and protests in the United States

The purpose of this money is to get the Canadian part of the project to start construction, and it did. For a time.

US President Joe Biden signed his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on January 20, which included the cancellation of the Keystone XL license. (Evan Wucci/Associated Press)

On Wednesday, the province said that the government’s cost of materials was C$1.3 billion, but it did not give up on recovering what it could do.

A government spokesperson said in an email: “As mentioned earlier, we remain committed to representing Albertans to recover the government’s investment in this project.”

This may mean starting to clean up pipelines and other assets to help offset some of the costs.But as CBC News reported last week, The pipeline that is already underground will remain there temporarily.

There may still be a market for what is left, but at this point, the extent to which this will recoup Alberta’s investment is another unknown.

Dennis McConaghy is a former executive of TC Energy. He has written books on energy issues. He believes that there will be a market for spare parts.

“Plumbing will be very useful,” he said. “The question of whether they can recover any expenditures they may have on pumps will depend on whether these particular types of pumps can find a market somewhere in the world. Ultimately, this may happen.”

He said that what cannot be recovered is the cost of camp, engineering and labor.

McConaghy speculates that the official termination of the project may help the company conduct some rescue activities or litigation-if this is what it is after.

Watch | Experts explain why politics played a role in the demise of Keystone XL

Richard Mason of the University of Calgary said that political factors played a role in the death of the Keystone XL project pipeline. The Alberta government and TC Energy today announced the termination of the pipeline project. 3:38

What about legal action?

When referring to its commitment to recover the investment, the Alberta United Conservative Government also pointed out that “we will continue to review all legal options for terminating the Keystone XL project.”

Using history as a guide, it might try to do this in several ways.

After TC Energy stopped the project in 2015, it filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in the U.S. Federal Court of Texas, claiming that the then President Barack Obama (Barack Obama) The decision to refuse to build Keystone XL Exceeds his power under the US Constitution.

The lawsuit was finally suspended after Donald Trump signed the required construction permit for the project to start again shortly after winning the White House.

James Coleman, associate professor of energy law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said he will pay close attention to whether Canada and TC Energy are weighing the challenges under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Although the trade agreement was replaced by the Canada-U.S.-Mexico agreement last year, Coleman said that there is a three-year window for claims under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“They can file a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement and say they have been treated discriminatoryly,” Coleman said. “That being said, no one has ever won a NAFTA lawsuit against the United States. So I think most people will say that your chance of success is less than 50-50.”

What does this mean for Jason Kenney’s UCP government?

On the same day the news of the Keystone project was cancelled, Kenney also shared a 1.3 billion dollar hydrogen project Working for Edmonton.

But only one of these stories became news in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and CNN.

Last summer, Alberta Governor Jason Kenney marked the start of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the town of Oyen. (Flickr/Alberta Government)

When Kenny made a big bet on Keystone XL last year, it was consistent with his campaign promises of employment, access, and a better economy. This is also the time when oil prices were hit hard by the sharp drop in crude oil prices.

The Alberta government insisted on this decision on Thursday because the New Democratic Party once again called on them to announce the full details of the investment agreement.

“Fully transparent,” Energy Secretary Sonia Savage told the legislature. “We support this pipeline because we believe it will bring higher prices for Alberta’s oil, increase oil sands production, and bring us $30 billion in royalties every year.”

In any case, this is another blow to the government’s priorities.

“This is just another cumulative thing,” said Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“If you just complete the energy file-the whole’counterattack’ strategy, Allen Investigation, War room, Investment in Keystone, carbon tax fight-there is no victory there. “

Politics aside, the focus of the Alberta oil field will be the completion of the cross-mountain expansion pipeline to Burnaby, British Columbia, and an alternative pipeline to the Emblich Line 3 in Superior, Wisconsin.

Thomas Kirk-Pearson, senior research assistant at energy data analysis company Enverus, said: “This is really a magnifying glass.”

“Without these projects, production in Western Canada would be quite severely restricted.”

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline were displayed on the Dodge Street pedestrian bridge during peak hours in Omaha, Nebraska in 2017. (Nati Hanik/Associated Press)

Both projects are facing some strong opposition because they are worried that they environmental And the impact of climate change-this week’s news is expected to gain support Further protest.

Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada, said: “This is of great significance to people who have been resisting new fossil fuel infrastructure and calling for alternatives, because this is the first truly large pipeline war. .”.

He said that in addition, Keystone also informed how to carry out current and future environmental protection campaigns.

“The Keystone struggle represents a strategic shift in the environmental movement, and more and more people realize that we must work with indigenous communities, and often under their leadership.”

There is no doubt that industry, government, and environmental leaders have learned a lot from Keystone XL’s long journey. The course may not end after this week.



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